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Ermelo locals face setback at Billy te Water Memorial Rally

The eagerly awaited Billy te Water Memorial Rally took centre stage from Friday to Saturday.

Secunda was abuzz with excitement as it hosted the adrenaline-packed rounds 3 and 4 of both the SA National and Northern Regional Rally Championship.

The eagerly awaited Billy te Water Memorial Rally took centre stage from Friday to Saturday.

The rally, previously known as the Lake Umuzi Rally, underwent a name change last year in honour of a significant figure in the local rally community: Billy te Water, the former CEO of the TW Group and owner of the farm where the famous Billy Rally stage with the quarry spectator’s point is located.

Te Water (49) was struck and killed by lightning on his farm about 5km outside

Trichardt on January 29 last year, and it was decided it would be fitting to rename the rally to honour him.

Barry White and Benjamin Habig took the honours during the Billy te Water Memorial Rally.

Anticipation simmered in Secunda as local stars Johan Strauss and Elzaan van der Schyff, representing Ermelo, prepared to take to the track.

On Friday they wasted no time, pushing their Subaru to the limit and showcasing their skills.

Despite facing stiff competition, they managed to secure an impressive fourth position. However, mechanical issues, notably related to their engine, cut their rally short, forcing an early retirement.

Johan Strauss and Elzaan van der Schyff kicks up some dust. Photos | Wayne van der Walt

Van der Schyff, reflecting on her experience, said: “It was an exceptionally enjoyable rally to navigate. The roads were very nice, and fast! Despite our problems, Friday was a good day. It was, however, very sad not to be able to drive on Saturday, too.”

Read the complete article in this week’s Highvelder.

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